Mythic Paths are another stage of progression for characters of level 10 or higher. Unlike Multi-class Paths, they tend to represent a honing of a Class’ signature abilities as opposed to a branching out of specialties
You may take multiple Paths. However, in order to start a Mythic or Multi-class Path, you must finish the one you currently undertaking. Finishing a Multi-class Path allows you access to the Mythic Path of that Class.
It must be stated that Mythic Paths are not for every character. While they are intended for high-level progression – they are deeply intertwined in the lore and the themes of Seventh Kingdom IGE. Many will ask you to give something up or bind yourself to a powerful entity, organization or ethos. Power always has a price, as the Sorcerers of Midworld say.
As such, they are not intended to be fully balanced with one another – or even within themselves, with regards to Aberrant Paths. Some Paths may be outright barred from you because of your character’s affiliations, reputations and choices – as well as various world events that the Players have influenced. While it is intended that Mythic Paths will find followers among the Player Base, it is not expected that all Player Characters enter one or even follow one – Power enough can be found in the Multi-class Paths, in the Year Gifts and in powerful items one can obtain in their adventures in Seventh Kingdom IGE.
Lastly, entering a Mythic Path may make your character more powerful – but it will not make them so powerful as to not need allies or companions. Some Path features incentivize teamwork and some will require it for maximum efficiency. While solo adventuring remains a relatively viable option for the cunning and the fleet-footed, the challenges and threats of Midworld are meant to be faced together.
Entering a Mythic Path:
Each Mythic Path has a steep cost for entry, be it in lives, components or any other “currency”. Some Paths may need one or more attempts at entry. Almost all Paths will have some form of upkeep and all Paths will require the use of one of your Latent effect slots.
There are two primary hurdles that one must pass before entering a Mythic Path: Requirements and Instruction.
Requirements: These are skills, spells, feats or any other abilities that you must have before you may enter a Mythic Path. Other requirements may include the favor of a powerful entity, the possession of a specific item or the swearing of a Code of behavior (which you must maintain or lose the Path’s abilities). Also important are the physical representation or prop requirements that a Path possesses. These are markers that you have undertaken or completed such an arduous body of knowledge – failing to fulfill these physical requirements without Staff permission may mean suspension of Path features or even utter revocation of all Path features.
Instruction: Finding an instructor or a trainer for a Mythic Path can be as difficult, if not moreso, than fulfilling that Path’s requirements. Power calls to power and as such, almost all Mythic Paths have their secrets kept and occasionally granted by the powerful Kingdoms and Orders of Midworld. The common sources and trainers of a Path are described in a Mythic Path’s “affiliation” entry. Trainers of a Mythic Path that are not part of such a group are extremely rare, sometimes because that group hunts down those who do not have allies to shield them.
Progressing through a Mythic Path:
- After entering a Mythic Path, you advance through its tiers in an ascending order – starting from tier 1, going to tier 2, then 3, etc.
- To enter a Tier, you must first pay its listed build cost then spend 1 month learning it, similar to a skill. Learning a Mythic tier allows you to learn no other skills, feats, spells or any other abilities for that Month, even if you have the Master Researcher skill..
- Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 6 are special in that they offer several Path features instead of just one. However, you can only gain those features if you fulfill their prerequisites before or during that Tier.
- For example, Tier 2 of Mythic Path A grants Feature X (which has a requirement) and Feature Y (which does not). If you already have Feature X’s requirement, then you gain it at that tier. If you progress to Tier 3 without gaining the requirements for Feature X, it is barred from you henceforth – you have chosen your own way in walking this Mythic Path.
- Tier 7 of every Path requires a final trial, crucible or test by an NPC trainer or someone similar.
Aberrant Paths: Within each Mythic Path are a main branch and optional branches. These optional branches may be limited to certain alternate or regional styles that change the way the Path works (or bring additional options into play). For example, the Glacials of the Winter Dragon may have an optional branch that requires the patronage of Ymir instead of the power of the Winter Dragon.
These Paths share abilities with the main Mythic Path that they hail from. However, they may have additional requirements for entrance or maintenance. In fact, sometimes the instructor for an Aberrant Path is far more difficult to find that those who follow the main Path. On the other hand, Aberrant Paths may add or alter the features of the original Path to better suit their themes and purpose.
For example, the Shadow-slayer is an Aberrant Path of the Shadow-thief. A character progressing through the Shadow-slayer Path has many of the features of the Shadow-thief but some features are altered and some features are added to make up for the additional requirements that it has set forth. As per usual, no Mythic Path is for everyone and would-be initiates should leverage the strength of the path and compare them to the difficulty in gaining them.
Relentless and indomitable, the Adamantine Dreadnaught has personally mastered the art of smithing to make the most of their armor and medicine to lend strength to their body — all with the goal of becoming absolutely unstoppable.
The self-proclaimed “First-born” race, the Dwarves, claim the Path’s origins — but the current iteration of the Adamantine Dreadnaught differs greatly from the warrior-smiths of old. It requires an armorsmith’s skill, a warrior’s tenacity and a physic’s grace to begin this Path, along with a suit of modified Soul-forged armor. Once all the parts and requirements have been found and fulfilled, a ritual of binding cements the armor and its wearer to greater heights of attunement, allowing the latter to endure strikes that would fell those lesser than them.
But when chieftain-generals and knight-commanders need someone to hold the line against impossible odds, they call for the Adamantine Dreadnaught. Among the Mythic Paths, there are few others that can even rival their tenacity and the fortitude of these warriors. Hordes and swarms crash against Dreadnaughts and find themselves thrown back. Gigantic monstrosities find that their blows barely nick the Dreadnaught’s armor. And even those who would bring the Dreadnaught to their knees will find that these warriors return even stronger and mightier than before.
Aberrant Paths: Two Paths diverge from this Path: the Spirited Dreadnaught and the Necrotic Deathnaught. The former incorporates inebriation to improve their fighting strength and fortitude. The latter uses necromantic power to make themselves nigh unkillable.
- any 10th level Warrior feature
- Expert Armorsmith skill
- Expert Medicine Man skill
- Discipline of the Mountain feat
- Great Strength skill
- Also, you must possess Soul-Forged torso armor that you have crafted, modified by your entrance into this Path to become “Dreadnaught Armor”. The features of this Path do not function while you are not wearing Dreadnaught Armor.
Affiliations: Adamantine Dreadnaughts hail from the elite warriors of groups and organizations that prize their prowess and their tenacity on the battlefield as well as those who are known for their armorsmithing. One of the greatest among these groups is the Thundershield Clan of the Stone Dwarves, who make an art of armorsmithing and a virtue of endurance. Shen Tetsu of Kenrei follows a similar philosophy, although with a greater emphasis on battle honor and lacquered plates.
The Mjordir of Jotunbrud make up a small group of Adamantine Dreadnaughts, drawing inspiration from their craftsman God. These warriors are there to stand the line when Wodenson steadings need defending or evacuating.
Entrance: Adamantine Dreadnaughts are not merely warriors of great strength, but they are also skilled craftsfolk and physics. Thus, those allowed to join them are usually tasked with the creation or adaptation of Soul-forged armor into “Dreadnaught Armor”, using the various techniques unique to each group. The common thread among these methods is the forging of a powerful bond between the armor and its wearer, making the union of both more than the sum of its parts.
Attunement/Cost: A latent effect slot, which must be labeled with the name of this Path.
Phys-rep Requirements: Dreadnaught armor, which is similar to Soul-forged armor except that the runes are black or grey instead of blue or silver. [/su_spoilers]
Discipline of the Dreadnaught: While attuned to and wearing Dreadnaught Armor, you may use the Discipline of the Mountain feat more than once per Short rest. This has its cost however: using the feat more than once per Short Rest costs 1 SP as normal but inflicts a Weakness 30 effect that accompanies the Daze. Also, the feat protects the Dreadnaught only for 5 seconds instead of the normal time. Invoke this feat as “Discipline of the Dreadnaught”.
Your Dreadnaught armor also can be called back to you if taken or stolen, via a meditative ritual that requires 10 minutes.
You may gain the features listed below if you learn or gain their requirements while you are at this Tier. After you have left this Tier, these abilities are locked from you if you haven’t gained them yet.
Fortified Body (requires Break Force feat): When you use your Great Strength skill to negate a Snare effect upon you, you may say “Fortified Strength” to negate the effect without taking damage.
Furthermore, whenever you spend a Spirit Point to use a feat that removes a Control effect (e.g. Break Force, Endure Pain, etc), you may follow it with “Heal 10” to regain up to 10 HP immediately afterward. This has no effect if you are at 0 HP.
Expert Repairsmith (requires Expert Skullduggery or Expert Artificer skill) You may field-repair armor that is being worn, including your own armor. In addition, you may field-repair up to two weapons at the same time, similar to the Expert Weaponsmith skill.
Crash against the Mountain: You may prematurely end the use of your Discipline of the Mountain feat or the Disciple of the Dreadnaught feature to say “the Mountain Crashes” and perform two melee attacks that each inflict “Piercing Knockback 10”. If you are using a two-handed weapon, then you may inflict Piercing damage equal to your Critical Strike instead — this damage is not affected by the Weakness effect that afflicts you.
You may gain the features listed below if you learn or gain their requirements while you are at this Tier. After you have left this Tier, these abilities are locked from you if you haven’t gained them yet.
Soul-forged Solace (requires Grace of Tranquility (rank 1)): You become adept at healing wounds, pouring the elemental energies of your Dreadnaught Armor into the chakras of your body. After 10 seconds of uninterrupted channeling, you may say “Soul-forged Solace” and restore 0 HP to yourself. The amount of healing dealt is modified by the Grace of Tranquility skill as though it were a spell.
Superior Armory (requires Master of Augments or Master Weaponsmith skill): You may modify Astralline, Maker’s God-plate, Rune-forged and Soul-forged torso armor to grant its full suit benefits to those that wear it. This requires 1 Pure Metal Component, 1 Pure Holy Component and 1 Pure Earth Component, as well as 10 minutes of crafting. Soul-forged torso armor also requires the willing sacrifice of the would-be wearer (1 life as normal, cannot be commuted by a Pure component). This torso armor gains the following property: those that wear this armor are may utilize the abilities of the armor, as though they were wearing a full suit of it. A wearer may not benefit from this property two or more times simultaneously.
Also, when you receive this feature, your Dreadnaught armor is considered to have the outlined property.
Is that all: Once per period, you may say “Is that all?” to completely negate a melee weapon strike. You must act as if you were injured by the hit, and then act out the swagger of shrugging the pain away. After that, you may say “Heal 30″ to regain up to 30 HP as your iron resolve makes the injury insignificant.
If you already have this feature from a different source, then you do not get any extra uses. Instead, the healing provided is increased to 50 HP and it negates damage from any source, not just melee strikes.
You may gain the features listed below if you learn or gain their requirements while you are at this Tier. After you have left this Tier, these abilities are locked from you if you haven’t gained them yet.
Adamantine Strength: You may call upon a power akin to the might of the giants and dragons of yore to empower your own, infusing the energies of your Dreadnaught armor into your thews. You may say “Titan Strength” to perform an effect similar to Great Strength– allowing you to perform one of its effects or a “Piercing Knockback 5” melee attack. This does not grant additional bonuses to damage. After you use this feature however, you are Dazed for 30 seconds and cannot use it while Dazed.
Unstoppable Steel (requires Iron Fist skill and any Weapon Mastery skill): While holding a weapon that you have the appropriate Weapon Mastery skill for (or Shield Mastery for a shield) and it is sundered, you may say “Unstoppable Steel! No effect!” to negate the Sunder attempt. However, you take 10 damage instead.
Furthermore, when you resist a Disarm using Iron Fist, you get an “Avenging” (0 SP) use of the Critical Strike feat against the source of the Disarm.
Fortified Soul (requires Great Strength and Bloodied but Unbowed skills): When afflicted by a Dominate or a Fear effect, you may say “Unstoppable! No effect!” to negate the effect as long as it is not a Master-type effect. After you use this feature, you are Dazed for the next 60 seconds. If you use this feature while you are Dazed, you are instead Stunned for 60 seconds.
Dreadnaughts Never Die: Adamantine Dreadnaughts are known and feared for their tremendous powers of resilience and tenacity. When others would fall, these warriors persevere and triumph.
You may now use the Soul-forge ability of your Dreadnaught armor once per Period, instead of once per Moon.
Furthermore, you may expend a use of Soul-forge to say “I am the Dreadnaught!” in order to enter a state of pure strength and prowess, augmented by the energies stored and infused into your armor. While in this state, you gain the following benefits:
- If you have no Armor Points, you instantly regenerate all the AP from your Armor and your Armor Mastery skill.
- You may choose to inflict “10 damage” with your normal melee attacks, which may not be increased in any way.
- When you are brought to 0 HP or lower, you may expend 2 SP to say “Dreadnaughts never die! Heal 10” and regain up to 10 HP. Doing this also Dazes you for 30 seconds but it prevents you from prematurely falling from the Dreadnaught state. This must be done immediately after being brought to 0 HP. This healing may NOT be augmented by the Grace of Tranquility skill. Entering your second Death Count prevents you from using this ability.
The Dreadnaught state lasts until an hour has passed, until you run out of SP or you are brought to 0 HP without immediately using “Dreadnaughts never Die”.
Aberrant Path: Spirited Dreadnaught
There are rumors of Dreadnaughts made invulnerable not only through their bonded armors, but also using a chaotic fighting style that involves inebriation and carousing. Once intoxicated, these warriors are believed to be invulnerable to pain and injury — even when their armor is damaged to the point of uselessness. Furthermore, their own prowess in battle is greatly improved — with deadly results upon those that rouse their wrath.
But the strength of these Dreadnaughts lies not only in their individual prowess but also by the bonds that they make. Those who bind themselves to a Spirited Dreadnaught will find a staunch ally in hand, willing to sacrifice themselves at a moment’s notice to stray a wayward blade or arrow.
- Potent Potables skill
- Tolerate Poison feat
- You no longer require Soul-forged Armor to use your Dreadnaught features, replacing any “Soul-forged” invocation with “Spirited”.
Affiliations: Only two groups in Midworld are believed to field the Spirited Dreadnaught in battle. The first is Clan Gohrimm of Fir’bolg, whose riotous bacchanals and feasts to Cruach rival the madness of their battlefield prowess. Some claim that these Gohrimm Dreadnaughts utilize evolved traditions hailing from the fallen Wild Elf Kingdom of antiquity. Others believe that the Gohrimm are simply mad and invulnerable, made even moreso with the catalyst of brewery.
And then there are the Dreadnaughts from Pendrakken’s House Rayne who claim to be following in the first Rayne’s fighting tradition. Despite their skills and their honor, they are not in the highest esteem of the Kingdom but in their hometown of Stormhold, they are widely respected and beloved by the populace.
Attunement/Cost: Spirited Dreadnaughts no longer need to bond their armor to themselves. However, all the features of the Adamantine Dreadnaught Path that you can use now require you to be inebriated in-game (see Acclimate Poison feature below). However, the trials and tribulations of this Path’s initiation have gravely affected the Dreadnaught’s spirit – they permanently lose one of their latent effect slots to this Path.
Acclimate Poison: In addition to the benefits of the Tier 1 feature of the Dreadnaught, you may modify your Tolerate Poison feat. When you use it against an Ingested Poison or an Elixir, you may instead say “Acclimate Poison”, ignoring the brew’s normal effects and instead becoming inebriated in-game for the next hour. When inebriated in this manner, you cannot resist Charm effects and you cannot stagger faster than a walk. You can still tell allies from foes but, you do not know how.
However, while inebriated in this manner — some of your senses are sharpened while others are dulled. Furthermore, you may say “I’m Unstoppable!” to negate a Daze or Cripple Limb effect you just recieved. To do this again in the future however, you have to Channel for at least 10 seconds to re-center yourself.
Thicker than Water (requires Tea Ceremony and Comrade-in-arms skills): You may perform the Tea Ceremony with your Comrade-in-arms with in-game alcohol and rowdy carousing instead of tea and meditation. Doing so allows you to inflict a Master Befriend effect upon everyone who joined you. Professing familial devotion to one another during these moments is a frequent occurrence although not a requirement. If you choose to inflict/grant this benefit instead of the normal Tea Ceremony benefits (as opposed to in addition to), then this does not cost latent effect slots.
Unfortunately, you are also affected by the Master Befriend effect, preventing you from capitalizing on your new friends’ vulnerability in any way or form. This lasts until the end of the current Period. While thus affected, everyone in the Tea Ceremony may use the Intervene feat upon one another as if they had it. Using this feat costs 0 SP and is invoked as “Spirited Intervene” but it may not be used more than once per 60 seconds.
Spirited Rampage: Instead of gaining the “I am the Dreadnaught” feature, you instead augment the “Is that all?” feature of the Dreadnaught with your own brand of drunken rage.
While inebriated and using “Is that all?”, you may follow it up with “You wanna fight?” , allowing you to inflict retribution via a “Whirlwind” attack that inflicts 10, 20 or 30 damage depending on the complexity of the Elixir or Poison that is intoxicating you, followed by a “Whirlwind knockback 10”.
Also, while inebriated, you may augment your Dodge feat so that it only costs 1 SP to use (say “Spirited Dodge” instead) and so that you can use it in your Dreadnaught Armor.
Aberrant: Necrotic Deathnaught
The tenacity of the walking dead is horror to the living, but the guileful know well to learn from their enemies’ strengths. And so, there are more than a few warriors who have tampered with necromancy in their quest for invulnerability. It is unknown whose foul experiment yielded the Necrotic Deathnaught, though it is believed that the Path itself is a Wyrdic invention.
The Necrotic Deathnaught hosts the power of the original path and more. To strike a Dreadnaught is to provoke its wrath. To slay a Deathnaught is to provoke death itself — the Necrotic Grafts they bear empower them even while they are conscious and make them mightier when they should be on the ground.
- Master Talismanry skill
- Lorekeeper skill
- Deathnaught Phylactery (see below)
Affiliations: Khasat Svarok of Kali-Ishtar is revered for their military might and moreso for their Deathnaughts, who augment the strength of steel with Temple-licensed necromantic prowess. Krieger Eisenwulf of Gotterdammerung brings similar forces to the spear-front of their armies, utilizing them in vicious conquest against the restless dead or bothersome Free Tribes – their Patriarch may even be a Deathnaught himself.
On the other hand, the White-mamba clan is reviled for their use of ghastly magics even by their fellow Grellken. It stands to no one’s surprise that they field Deathnaughts in their most pitched battles.
Additional Phys-rep requirements: Holding and empowering the Necrotic Graft requires a Phylactery to be worn around the Deathnaught’s neck. It appears as an amulet or collar with a death’s head, a skeletal motif or a crow/vulture motif. Some make it collar tight while others have it hanging upon their chests.
You gain the benefits featured in Tier 1 of the Adamantine Dreadnaught, but you also get additional benefits when you have with you a Necrotic Graft.
Once per hour, When the Necrotic Deathnaught is brought to their Critical Death count, they may activate their Graft to enter a furious killing state. They enter their Eldritch Resurgence as normal, except for the following:
— they are in partial control of their actions: they continue to attack their foes. But, if they run out of enemies, they start attacking their allies and verbally calling for their demise.
— they are able to continue using their normal abilities and any items on their person.
— healing them has no effect and inflicts 10 shadow damage on their healer (if delivered by touch or melee weapon). The only exception to this is “Bloodthirst” (outlined below)
— they are uncontrollable by the Sorcerer that put the Graft upon them
— unlike a typical Eldritch Resurgence, this lasts until they are defeated — in which case, they go straight into their Critical Death Count.
Finally, you gain a special ability based on the type of Graft that currently affect you. If you possess two Grafts (by possessing the Two-fold Graft skill), you may even possess two of the options below.
- Soulless or Wight Graft: The AP you receive from the Armor Mastery skill is improved by 10.
- Vampire or Ghoul Graft: You may say “Bloodthirst! Heal 10!” to regain HP after you bring down an enemy, similar to the Wolf of War feature of the Soldier. If you already have Wolf of War, the healing is improved to 20 HP. Either way, you do not take damage from this healing.
- Wraith or Banshee Graft: You may augment the Dodge feat, allowing you to use it even in Plate armor. Preface the feat with “Spectral”.
Lastly, you are able to potentially sustain the Graft for long periods of time without need for a Sorcerer to continue doing so, doing this requires a Deathnaught Phylactery (see below). At the end of every Month, you can sacrifice 3 basic Death components to maintain it for the next Moon. This allows the Graft to persist until you are unable to sustain it or until it is dispelled from you, assuming that you keep sacrificing components to maintain it. This also attunes yourself to your Dreadnaught armor and to the Deathnaught Phylactery. This Graft does not cost an additional latent effect slot.
Unique Talisman (Head, Neck or Belt only)
Property 1: (1/SR) Invoke “Deathnaught Phylactery” to negate an attack that inflicts a Mortal effect or a killing blow and/or regain 5 HP.
Property 2: Your Critical Death Count lasts 10 minutes.
Affinity (Necrotic Deathnaught Path): When this is attuned to you, you may sustain a Necrotic Graft as mentioned in Tier 1 of the Deathnaught Path.
Special: This Phylactery cannot be used unless by its wearer unless they have sacrificed 1 life to it beforehand.
Cost: rare Earth x1, rare Death x1
Attunement: basic Death x3
Phys-rep: Head, Neck or Belt Talisman only; item card
Necrotic Affliction: After a 10 minute ritual that involves simulated blood-sharing and ceremonial mutilation, you may afflict your Comrades-in-arms with your Graft as though you had the spell. In addition to the ceremony, this requires 3 basic death components per person that wishes to receive your Graft (or six components for two Grafts). For the purposes of this spell, you are considered to be the caster and controller of it.
Furthermore, you may use the healing function of the Sorcerer’s Eldritch Link skill as if you had it. In addition to your healing, you may also inflict a “Dominate 60” upon your Eldritch minion if you spend 1 SP as part of Eldritch Link.
Rise with me: Once per Period, you may expend a use of your Eldritch Resurgence and say “I am the Deathnaught. Rise with me!” Afterward, perform a “whirlwind revive, heal 10”, restoring the vitality of yourself and everyone within “whirlwind” reach. Furthermore, you also temporarily gain the Special attacks and Health of your Graft as though you underwent an Eldritch Resurgence. These benefits persist as per Tier 1.
Additionally, when you are brought to 0 HP or lower while in your Eldritch Resurgence, you may expend 2 SP to say “Deathnaughts never die! Heal 10” and regain up to 10 HP. This must be done immediately after being brought to 0 HP. Doing this also Dazes you for 30 seconds but it prevents you from prematurely falling from the Deathnaught state. This healing may be augmented by the Grace of Tranquility skill.
You may need not wear a mask for this feature although it does count as a use of Eldritch Resurgence.
Finally, you may use the special Deathnaught Resurgence features outlined in Tier 1, even if you are not currently Resurging.
The Branded Butcher is a killer, pure and simple. They can add nuance to their strength or subtlety to their tactics, but in the end they march forth and end lives. Worse yet, some of these slayers are said to draw power from unholy sources.
The Branded Butcher is the ruthless reaver, leaping from horseback or dragonship to pillage and kill. They are the stone-hearted slayer, with murder being their greatest skill and their professional pride. Dark energies mark their faces so that their foes know them for what they are and so that Butchers themselves can prey upon that fear. Yet this Butcher’s Brand is more than mere augmentation. It is an identity, a fell ideal that sets the walkers of this Path above the typical red-handed killer, just as talent and skill allow a master to rise over an amateur.
The tradition is said to hail from the ancient, fearsome legends of Jotunbrud and Fir’bolg, although the Dwarves of the Rumbletum Clan and the Bloodscreamer Trolls maintain similar myths and practices. In these tales, great warriors choose to imbue themselves with deathly potence — the terminus of which is the imbuing of the Brand itself with deathly magics. Thus empowered, Branded Butchers It grants them strength and ability beyond their mundane peers. The stories of these slayers scattering phalanxes with fear, shrugging off the deadliest poisons and keening their power with every death they inflict are not mere exaggerations — it is their fell and murderous truth.
Abberant Paths: Two Paths diverge from this one: the Vaultmarked Butcher and the Cold-blooded Butcher. The first accesses demonic energies to imbue one’s strikes and might with eldritch destruction. The second is a rarity among rarities with the Jotunbrud and the Ishtari, capable of wielding totemic frost not only as a weapon but as a shield — akin to an Adept.
- a 10th level Warrior feature
- any Weapon Mastery skill
- Master Venomologist skill
- Know thy Enemy (rank 2) skill.
Affiliation: As mentioned above, the greatest warrior traditions among the Jotunbrud and Fir’bolg have teachers of this Path. For the former, certain ancient Warbands might teach this Path to those they consider worthy. For the latter, the Dyed Men are known to have Branded Butchers in their roster, although receiving training requires following the orders of a stone-hearted, ruthless killer.
Entrance: The Path of the Branded Butcher requires skill in the art of murder and the cold blood of a killer. Those who prove they have these requirements to their teacher (which can be an extended task by itself) are usually given a quest to retrieve the materials for their Brand. The placing of the Brand is believed to be an ordeal unlike any other — allowing the would-be Butcher to glimpse the next world and be imbued by its deathly power. The initiate is not only physically scarred but spiritually so as well — few are able to speak of the process in great detail, if they can be bothered to talk.
Attunement/Cost: Maintenance of your Brand and its abilities requires a latent effect slot, which must be labeled with the name of this Path. For a greater attunement, the latent effect slot must be annotated with (GR).
Because of their own roots with the Jotunbrud, some of House Vagnar may know this Path and how to walk its blood-strewn ways.
Finally, the Rumbletum Clan and the Bloodscreamer Clans of the Stone Dwarves and the Grellken Trolls are believed to possess the knowledge of this Path, although getting training might involve being initiated into the Clan — a task that kills dozens of initiates every year.
Phys-rep Requirements: Branded Butchers are known for their “Butcher’s Brands”: a series of black web or whorled tattoos on their faces and/or their forearms. Some Butchers forgo the ink and instead ritualistically scar themselves with special magic that prevent the scars from healing.
Chopping Block: You may observe an opponent for 30 seconds and find a weakness to exploit, just as the Armsman’s Student of Steel feature. This grants you an “expert” (0 SP) use of the Critical Strike feat that is followed by a “Chain Crit” immediately afterward, provided that that the expert Crit successfully inflicts damage.
Furthermore, you may grant this Expert Critical Strike to one or two Comrades within weapon reach, pointing out to them their next target.
Murderous Brand: Calling upon the murderous powers of your brand, you may ignore pleas of mercy or your own terror. You may say “Butcher’s Brand! No effect!” to negate a Snare, Pacify or a Fear effect upon you. Afterwards, you are Dazed for 60 seconds. If you use this feature while Dazed, you are Stunned for 60 seconds.
No Words for the Dead (requires Howl of Terror feat): When you use Howl of Terror, you may instead perform 3 melee attacks that each inflict “Fear 30”. Furthermore, if you have the Staggering Strike feat and use it, you may inflict a Silence 30 instead of its normal effect.
Bloody Butchery: When you bring an enemy to 0 HP with a melee attack, you may channel for 5 seconds and then say “Bloody Butchery! Heal 10” to regain up to 10 HP, as per the Wolf of War soldier feature. If you already have Wolf of War, you heal 20 instead of 10 – but you cannot use Wolf of War to heal yourself.
Furthermore, whenever you inflict a Killing Blow, you may choose to call upon the murderous powers of your Brand, hitting for the same amount of damage as your Critical Strike– although you have to maintain weapon contact with the target.
Fear Itself (requires Comrade-in-arms skill): When your Comrades-in-arms are affected by a Fear or a Daze effect, you may shake them out of it by performing an attack that relies on a knowledge of anatomy and your own personal brand of menace. You may say “Shake it off!” and then perform a melee attack that inflicts 10 damage (which cannot be decreased). If your target takes damage, you may say — “Remove Fear” or “Remove Daze”.
Venomous Brand (requires Tolerate Poison feat): By drinking a Combat Poison and using Tolerate Poison, you may store up to a dose within yourself. You may apply a dose instantly to your weapon after saying “Venomous Brand” and simulating spitting on your weapon. This must be a poison of your own creation. This dose lies dormant within your system for one period before your Brand consumes it completely, without ill effect.
Furthermore, your Brand uses this poison to defend you. If anyone Searches or uses the Cut Purse or any similar ability upon you — you may inflict the effect of the Combat Poison as Shadow damage upon the intruder. Clarify this effect to either the person searching or harvesting you or to the Marshall adjudicating the effect – doing this allows you to negate the Cutpurse, search or harvest ability.
Slaying Spree: Once per Period, you may allow the Brand to put you in a murderous frenzy that empowers your strikes with each death you inflict. While in this frenzy and after inflicting a Killing Blow upon a hostile enemy, you may say “Slaying Spree 1” to improve your Critical Strikes by 1. Subsequent Killing Blows increase the Slaying Spree’s number (and the Critical Strike bonus) by 1 to a maximum of 10. Most warriors choose to withhold their Critical Strikes until the maximum is attained.
Your murderous frenzy ends when you receive any healing (except from Bloody Butchery), when you spend more than 60 seconds without trying to kill something or when all threats have been defeated or routed. As usual, you may resist magical healing when it is put upon you.
If you expend a Rare Death component to attune your Brand to yourself, you gain a Greater Attunement to your Brand. While thusly attuned, your Slaying Spree empowers you to even greater heights of strength: when you are at “Slaying Spree 10”, you may choose for your melee strikes to inflict “10 mortal-bane” instead of your normal damage. This empowered attack may not be augmented or increased in any way.
Blood for Blood: When you are brought to 0 HP and revived, you gain a free use of the Critical Strike feat against the creature that brought you down, providing that it is first attack that you make against them. You augment and preface this feat with the word “Vengeful”. If you hit, you may say “Heal X”, where X is the amount of damage you inflicted with that Critical Strike.
You lose this benefit after you lose sight of your assailant for more than a minute.
Tell me Everything (requires Interrogate and Howl of Terror feat): You gain the Gather Information feat and may use it after 1 minute of threatening conversation instead of the normal requirement.
Also, if your Sense Deception, Gather Information or Interrogate feat is negated by the Poker Face skill or any feat or spell, inform your target that it requires 2 additional SP to negate it. Lastly, you may also inflict a Fear 10 upon the target whether they resist your inquiries or not.
Priming for the Cut (requires Master of Medicine skill): Your knowledge of how living things heal and die have granted you special insight that your Butcher’s Brand has heightened. You gain the Spirit Sight and the Aura-sight skills. Furthermore, successful use of the Aura-sight skill activates the Chopping Block feature if you spend 10 seconds instead of 5 seconds to use it. This only grants you and only you the benefits of the feature.
Killing Spree: When you perform a Killing Blow, you may affect up to three creatures within weapon’s reach of you instead of merely one.
You may activate Slaying Spree while you are at your first Death Count. When doing this, say “Slaying Spree! Heal 10” instead, regaining up to 10 HP and entering the murderous frenzy. If you expended a Rare Death component to attune yourself to your Brand, then this heals 50 HP instead of 10 HP.
Furthermore, studying an enemy to gain an Expert Critical Strike only requires 15 seconds instead of the normal amount. You (and only you) may replace this Critical Strike with a Cripple Limb or a Staggering Strike instead (if you have these feats). This benefit occurs regardless of whether you are in a Killing or Slaying Spree or not.
Aberrant Paths: Vaultmarked Butcher
The Vaultmarked Butcher is an aberration amongst the Branded Butchers of Midworld, seeking greater power by trafficking with demonic entities. Sages theorize that this Path requires the sacrifice of those most dear to the Butcher, draining the souls of kin and allies to prove their worth to their fiendish patrons.
Those who manage the arduous and damnable entry to this path are rewarded with soul-rending power. Unlike mundane warriors, Vaultmarked Butchers are possessed of magical powers that allow them to charge their weapons with energies anathemic to mortal souls and destroy magical constructs. As all Sorcerers say, this power has a price – and it is known that a Vaultmarked Butcher will continue paying it for as long as they live.
- The favor of a Demon Lord, which will require a great sacrifice.
- a Hell-forged Weapon that is attuned to you
Affiliation: The fell magicians of the Riverfolk’s Golden Fleet, the Iron Kingdom’s Spiral Cabal and the Qabbalim of Inthian Spell-tower are known to possess the lores of this Path. The last occasionally bestows Vaultmarks to the Unshackled of the Labyrinthium. With their ability to wield mortal-bane energies, these Butchers make excellent assassins against even hardened targets.
The Trinity Temple of Kali-Ishtar is also known to bestow a Vaultmark upon warriors that earn their favor. Their affinity with the Gilgorin allows them access to demonic energies and especially sanctified martyrs can be used to create Hellforged Weapons for those that would champion the cause of the Thrice-aspected Goddess of Kali-Ishtar.
Phys-rep Requirements: The Brand for Vaultmarked Butchers is red instead of black, unless the Butcher in question is a Nightkin. In this case, the Brand is gold.
Also, a Hellforged Weapon whose Phys-rep must be provided by the player.
You gain the Chopping Block feature, except that instead of quietly observing a target, you may instead Channel fell energy for 15 seconds upon your Hellforged Weapon to gain an “Expert” use of the Critical Strike feat, followed by a “Chain Crit” if you successfully hit. You may not grant the same benefit to Comrades, but the Critical Strike need not be on a specific target, nor does the “free feat” expire until you expend it on your next strike or when the next Period begins.
Furthermore, you may choose for this Critical Strike to hit for “Mortal-bane” damage.
Your Demonic Patron grants you the ability to unravel elemental bonds and magical constructs with your willpower. You gain the Sorcerer’s Word of Disjunction spell and the Disjunct Item skill of the Alchemist.
Furthermore, after a 5 minute ritual, you may also transmute a component of any type (except Prismatic components) into a Fire or Demonic component of the same rarity as though you were a Transmuter with the necessary formula.
When you perform a Killing Blow, you may affect up to three creatures within weapon’s reach of you instead of merely one.
Also, your Slaying Spree is augmented in a different way. Instead of saying “Slaying Spree”, you may instead say “Killing Rampage”. Immediately afterward, you may make three melee attacks which inflict “10 mortal-bane”, “20 mortal-bane” and “30 mortal-bane” before you enter the Killing Spree’s murderous rampage. This can be activated at any time while you are in combat, instead of requiring a Killing Blow.
Finally, when you expend a Rare Demonic Component (as per Tier 5), Mark of the Vault now grants you two Critical Strikes instead of merely one so long as you are wielding two weapons or a two-handed weapon. This lasts until the end of the current Moon.
Aberrant Paths: Cold-blooded Butcher
There are warriors in the frozen landscapes of Jotunbrud and Kali-ishtar that not only survive in harsh climes of their homeland — they also radiate its ruthless frost. These Cold-blooded Butchers have taken within themselves the might of a powerful wintry entity such as a Winter Totem or a Jotun Giant, similar to a Winter Adept.
A Butcher empowered thusly is constantly wreathed in frost. Those who question them suffer the chill of their glare. They may even use this frozen power as a weapon, hurling spears and arrows made of ice and hatred.
- Master Transmuter skill
- A spiritual infusion from a Winter Totem or a Jotun Giant
Affiliation: Khasat Voloth of Kali-ishtar and the Stormgrimm Dwarves of the Stone Clans are the most reputable Cold-blooded Butchers. Their affinity with primal cold and elemental wind makes them the most suited to the rigors of this Path.
The Chainers of the Jotunbrud, especially those that serve the Yig-ymir, are also believed to walk this Path. The members of the latter achieve it through the influence and the magics of Ymir himself. It is believed that the Frost King forcibly turns his greatest warriors unto this Path, killing those who are unable to withstand its perilous demands.
A few warriors in Krieger Eisenwulf in Gotterdammerung also sport grey and white runes upon their person. Whether they do or do not walk this Path is unknown, but their taste and talent for destruction matches this Path.
Phys-rep requirements: Cold-blooded Butchers have Light blue, Grey or White runes or whorls upon their face and body instead of a Brand. As they progress down this Path, they may gain frosty white skin and/or ice blue veins.
Chilling Visage (requires Rare Wind Transmutation [learned]): After channeling for 3 seconds, you may expend 3 SP and say “Chilling Visage” to enter an unreadable state, entombing your emotions in spiritual ice. For the next 10 minutes, as long as you do not move your feet from your location, any use of the Sense Deception feat, Gather Information, Read the Soul (or similar spells or feats) upon you may be responded with “No Effect”. Receiving any damage or moving from your place prematurely ends this effect.
This feature is immune to abilities that increase the SP cost of Poker Face and similar defenses. However, this feature cannot be used as a reaction or as a response – its defensive screen must be put up before inquiries are sent.
Freezing Blood (requires Rare Water Transmutation [learned]): You may Channel for 5 seconds to send a bolt of freezing cold unto an enemy. Say “Spear of Winter” to inflict 10 points of ice damage with a spell-packet. If you spend 1 SP, you may inflict a “Snare 5” instead.
If you have a Greater Attunement to this Path, you can begin to emit cold from your body. If you channel for 5 seconds, the next person you touch within the next minute receives 5 points of ice damage. Some Cold-blooded Butchers use this to unnerve those who shake hands with them.
When you perform a Killing Blow, you may affect up to three creatures within weapon’s reach of you instead of merely one.
Also, when you enter a Slaying Spree, you may instead say “Cold-blooded Killer” to surround yourself with an invisible curtain of freezing air that regenerates with each death you inflict.
While in this state, you may choose to inflict Ice damage with your melee attacks. Furthermore, you may turn the HP you would gain from Bloody Butchery into Armor Points that stack with no other AP (nor with itself) and lasts until the end of “Cold-blooded Killer”
If you expended a Rare Wind component to attune yourself this Moon, you are granted 30 AP instead of 10 or 20 AP. Furthermore, activating “Cold-blooded Killer” grants you this AP.
The Illustrious Warmaster is the lord of battle and the field commander, rallying allies to an impenetrable defense or driving comrades into a relentless wedge. Outside the battlefield, the Warmaster is the leader in negotiations and an able diplomat.
The Illustrious Warmaster is an ambassador of peace and a captain of war. Some are cunning tacticians, directing the flow of the battlefield from the rear or the second rank. Other Warmasters like to stand at the vanguard, battling alongside their heaviest fighters. With mere words, they can rally their comrades to the fullness of health or strike fear into an entire squad.
Only the most charismatic and driven of warriors can become Warmasters, yet it takes more than mere resolve to become one. A few Kingdoms field and train talent in war-colleges, honing the skills of captains and turning them into warlords and generals. Any warrior can swing a sword or rally their allies — but it takes a Warmaster to turn the tide of battle and snatch victory from the clutches of the enemy.
Aberrant Paths: The Illustrious Warmaster diverges into two other Paths. One is the Shamanic Warmaster, commander of soldiers and elements. The other is the Sanctified Warmaster, a leader in battle and in faith.
- Any 10th level Warrior class feature
- Master Researcher skill
- Bardic Mastery skill
Affiliation: Gotterdammerung’s Krieger Eisenwulf and the Kenrei’s Shen Terasu are the primary Kingdoms that maintain the necessary war-colleges that teach this Path. These places of learning esteem their Kingdom’s traditions of honor and battle, refining the talent of their students and teaching them advanced tactics and maneuvers.
Furthermore, certain Power Groups roster their own Warmasters: the Riverfolk’s Azure Fleet and Clan Thundershield of the Stone Dwarves cultivate this Path not through a war-college but through an intense and arduous mentorship.
Entrance: Those who would join the ranks of the Illustrious Warmasters would do well to enroll in one of the war-colleges mentioned above. Induction into these places of learning does not ensure entrance into this Mythic Path however. The battle-hardened instructors of these war-colleges are akin to drill sergeants, using physical and psychological training to push their students to their limit. They often send would-be Warmasters out into the field, assigning them difficult tasks that require discipline and leadership to accomplish. Those that impress these harsh mentors are allowed to become Warmasters.
Attunement/Cost: You need to dedicate yourself to your cause, expending will, discipline and a latent effect slot to do so.
A battle-standard can be crafted by an Expert Artificer and an Expert Talismonger with your assistance. If you have both of these, you may craft thisbattle-standard yourself – an act that requires 10 minutes of crafting and three basic components: a basic herbal component, a basic earth component and a basic holy component. Given its bulky nature, you would do well to assign a standard bearer or someone similar to ensure its safety while you are not using it.
Phys-rep Requirement: You need to have Tabard or Cloak of exquisite make that features the Power Group that you serve.
Some Warmasters wield a hand-held Banner, similar to a Battle-standard. This battle-standard limits the Warmaster’s personal ability and makes them vulnerable but it greatly enhances some of the Path’s features. You may create a Battle-standard yourself and it has an item tag attached to it, but it is worth little to others.
All attacks and effects that hit a Warmaster’s Banner are considered to have hit the person wielding or carrying it. Furthermore, carrying a Warmaster’s Banner does not count against the Einhander style. Lastly, the Banner’s “height” (including the pole) must be at least half of the Warmaster and be no taller than the Warmaster themselves.
One for all: Your talents of leadership and guidance have vastly improved. You may now have up to ten Comrades-in-arms instead of seven. You also gain the Watchful Interceptor feature as though you were a champion.
Furthermore, you gain the ability to channel the strength of your cause unto yourself as well as a single Comrade beside you. After 10 seconds of channeling, invoke one of the options below, clarifying only when necessary.
“Warmaster’s Battle Cry” — +5 damage on your next normal melee or ranged attack.
“Warmaster’s War-chant!” — regain up to 5 HP.
If you have a Warmaster’s Banner, this only requires 5 seconds of Channeling and you may add +5 to the listed damage bonus or healing.
Clear Waters, Swift Currents: After channeling for 3 seconds, you may expend 1 SP and say “Clear Waters, Swift Currents” to enter an unreadable state. For the next 10 minutes, as long as you remain in the same place, any use of the Sense Deception feat, Gather Information, Read the Soul (or similar spells or feats) upon you may be responded with “No Effect”. Receiving any damage or moving from your place prematurely ends this effect.
This feature is immune to abilities that increase the SP cost of Poker Face and similar defenses. However, this feature cannot be used as a reaction or as a response – its defensive screen must be put up before inquiries are sent.
Mighty Command (Requires Commanding Voice skill): You may use the Stirring Warcry and the Call to Arms feats to affect even those out of your command. After you perform either feat, you may touch one or two nearby allies and say “Remove X” (where X is the control effect you wish to remove that the preceding Warcry would have affected).
Warmaster’s Gambit: Once per moon, you may accomplish a feat of tactical mastery. You may invoke one of the options below and bestow its effects on all Comrades that are within “whirlwind range” of you. Clarify the effects of this feature to your Comrades in advance.
- “Warmaster’s Advance: Whirlwind, Heal 10!” – In addition to the healing you just bestowed, your Comrades within weapon reach may inflict “20 damage” with their next melee or ranged weapon strike.
- “Warmaster’s Castle: Minimal 1, minimal 2…minimal 10”. For every second of your “Minimal count”, you may touch a Comrade with a hand or weapon in response to a damaging attack they just received. You reduce that damage to “minimal”. Also, you only take minimal damage while you perform the count. You cannot reduce appropriate bane-type damage upon yourself or your Comrades (usually Mortal-bane). Lastly, you may only move sideways or backward while you maintain “Warmaster’s Castle” because of its defensive nature.
If you are wielding a Warmaster’s Banner, the amount of healing granted is increased to 20 and the “minimal” lasts for 20 seconds instead of 10 seconds.
Fear Itself (requires Howl of Terror feat): When your Comrades-in-arms are affected by a Fear or a Daze effect, you may shake them out of it by performing an attack that relies on your own personal brand of menace. You may say “Shake it off!” and then perform a melee attack that inflicts 10 damage (which cannot be decreased). If your target takes damage, you may say — “Remove Fear” or “Remove Daze”.
Mental Warfare (requires Befriend, Suggestion or Challenging strike feats) When you use the Befriend, Suggestion and Challenging Strike feat, you may affect two targets instead of merely one – this turns Challenging strike into a wave 2 effect.
Furthermore, when you use these feats, you may augment your normal melee attacks against either target. Preface your normal melee attacks with the word “Flourish” and add 2 to the damage. When augmented thusly, your attacks may not be augmented in any other manner.
Battle Commander: You may now use the Warmaster’s Gambit once per Period instead of only once per Moon. Furthermore, you gain additional options:
- “Warmaster’s Ambush! Whirlwind Snare 10” This taunts enemies within whirlwind range into attacking you.
- “Warmaster’s Menace! Whirlwind Fear 10” You cause fear against all enemies within “whirlwind range”.
If you are wielding a Warmaster’s Banner, the duration of the Snare and the Fear is increased to 30 instead.
Furthermore, when you use any of the Warmaster’s Gambit abilities, you may perform an “Expert” (0 SP) Rallying Warcry or Cry Havoc feat within the next 60 seconds.
Pierce the Veil: Also, if your Sense Deception, Gather Information or Interrogate feats are negated by the Poker Face skill or any feat or spell, inform your target that it requires 2 additional SP to negate it.
Furthermore, if you first study a target for 30 seconds (similar to the Armsman’s Student of Steel feature), the cost to negate the Feats listed above is increased by one for the next 10 minutes or until you switch targets (whichever comes first).
No Mercy! (requires Analyze Weakness skill): You gain the Soldier’s Focus Fire feature. Furthermore, instead of personally gaining the benefit of this feature, you may touch your Comrade in with your weapon and declare to them: “Focus Fire!”. This allows them to gain an “Expert” use of the Critical Strike feat against a target that you designate.
After you do this, you cannot use this feature again until after you have re-centered yourself. This requires you to Channel for 20 seconds (or 10 seconds if you are wielding a Warmaster’s Banner).
Rally the Fallen: (requires Song of the Heart skill) When you use Song of the Heart to revive someone from their Death Count or their Critical Death Count, you also heal them for 10 HP.
Furthermore, you may replace the song with an inspirational speech that lasts for the requisite amount of time.
Warmaster’s Command: You have reached the apex of your abilities – your very presence and commands can give vigor and shock life back into to your comrades. Whenever you use Warmaster’s Gambit ability, you may also grant 2 SP to all Comrades within weapon reach at that moment as your resolve grants your allies the power to keep fighting.
Once per Period, you may to point at a conscious Comrade-in-arms within 30 feet and say their name, following it with “Rallying Words! Heal 10”. You may repeat this upon one other Comrade per use of this feature but this must all be done within the next 30 seconds.
Aberrant Path: Sanctified Warmaster
Sometimes called the Sanctified Warchanter, this Path is followed by Warmasters that are made holy by their Churches and Creeds and given sanction to destroy the enemies of their faith. These warriors are the vanguards of religious crusades and purges, driving and assisting the faithful in their duties.
Through their divine patron, a Sanctified Warmaster is given a limited ability to cast Priest spells which they often use to assist and remedy the laity of their faith. They are expected to be diplomats and healers in times of peace. However, the most experienced and loyal of these warriors are able to invoke a Blessed Warchant, instilling themselves and their Chosen with a fervor that mends wounds and spirits. This also grants the Warmaster to power to smite an enemy with their zealotry.
Affiliations: Naturally, not every religion fields Sanctified Warmasters. Of the known religions of Midworld, only the most war-like and entrenched of religions can call forth these holy warriors to battle.
Gotterdammerung’s Creed of the Slayer and Fir’bolg’s Mark of Fury are known to roster their Warmasters with reckless berserkers that lead their Chosen into combat with a bloodthirsty glee. These warriors revel in the glories of battle and in the destruction of their enemies.
On the other hand, Jotunbrud’s Creed of Lucca and Kali-ishtar’s Koil Avesti are more possessed of a tactical patience — preferring to guide and assist, rather than kill and slaughter. These Warmasters are more known for their leadership and their cunning out of the battlefield rather than their heroic feats in combat.
- The Icon of War spell must be cast upon you.
- the special dispensation and ordination of an appropriate religion.
Phys-rep Requirements: You must have holy writs and/or symbols adorning your armor. Also, the symbol on your Tabard or Warmaster’s Banner must include the symbol of your Faith or prominently feature it.
Instead of the “One for all” feature, you may grant a powerful blessing upon your Comrades, although they must also be Chosen of your religion to benefit from “Glorious Sanctification”. Once per Moon, when you designate your Comrades-in-arms — you may expend Holy components and perform a ritual as though you had cast the Scripture of War spell. This casting of the spell does not occupy a Latent effect slot; it is assumed to be using the same spot as your Comrade-in-arms skill.
Furthermore, you gain the Watchful Interceptor feature of the Champion, except that you may use it upon any member of your faith that is wearing a holy symbol.
Lastly, while you have the Icon of War spell upon you, you are able to potentially sustain the Icon spell for long periods of time. At the end of every Month, you can sacrifice a basic Holy component to maintain it for the next Moon. This allows the Icon to persist until you are unable to sustain it or until it is dispelled from you, assuming that you keep sacrificing components to maintain it.
Sanctified Sanction (requires Lorekeeper and Willpower skills): You gain the ability to learn and cast basic Faith spells. You may only do this while under the divine influence of an Icon of War spell.
Once per Period, you may rally your Chosen beyond fatigue and injury to snatch glory and triumph from your foes. To do this, channel for 10 seconds then invoke “Blessed Warchant of the Faithful” to grant yourself and up to three different Chosen that you touch 3 SP and 30 AP.
If you are under the effects of the Icon of War spell (Temple of War), then you also grant yourself and the other targets the ability to perform a melee strike that inflicts “Piercing, 30 Divine”. Also clarify that it must be used within 60 seconds.
Aberrant Path: Shamanic Warmaster
Shamanic Warmasters are sometimes called the Shamanic Warchiefs or Primal Warchiefs because they are favored by peoples that are closely tied to their tribal or shamanic roots. These Warmasters use their connection to a powerful Elemental Totem to augment their Comrades in battle.
When anointed by their Totems, these Warmasters are given a Primal Essence that the Totem embodies. Some Totems or Spirits are known for their quickness while others are revered for their strength or wisdom — it is this trait that it grants to the Shamanic Warmaster. Through this Totem or Spirit’s power, the Shamanic Warmaster is able to imbue their comrades to greater heights of prowess or even ignite their souls into a devastating rage.
- the Favor of a Great Totem or Elemental Lord
- the Aura-sight or Spirit Sight skill
Affiliation: The Stormgrimm Clan and some of the ancient Chainer Warbands (and Wodenson Warbands) are known to field Shamanic Warmasters in their ranks. The former is unsurprising because of its close connection to the spiritual and elemental worlds. The Shamanic Warmasters of the Jotunbrud and the Wodensons however utilize an older style of fighting and leadership that harkens to a time before the coming of Ymir and the Jotun. The more traditionalist Wodensons utilize this more than the Jotunbrud do but the latter have their own forms, dedicated to the Jotun or to powerful Winter Totems.
Clan Drustan of Fir’bolg is also known for their Shamanic Warmasters. This hails from their reverence for tradition and the old ways. Some sages believe that this points to a time when the Fir’bolg and the Jotunbrud were one people, but doing so in front of either would be a fatal error.
Lastly, some Beastling tribes seem to have one or two Shamanic Warmasters in their roster. The only true gathering of such storied heroes is in Pendrakken, where the normally nomadic Beastlings have taken root and settled in numbers unseen until recent memory.
Attunement: Shamanic Warmasters do not rely on finery and charisma to drive their allies. They simply attune themselves to their Primal Essence, expending a basic Earth, Fire or Wind component every month.
Phys-rep Requirements: Instead of a Warmaster’s Banner, you must instead construct and maintain a Shamanic Totem, which is a pole that features the various animals and spirits you revere.
Instead of the “One for all” feature, Shamanic Warmasters align themselves and their close allies with a Primal Essence. When beginning this Path, they must choose between one of the Primal Essences below:
Primal Fortitude: the mountain’s might, the bear’s fortitude and the badger’s tenacity.
Primal Quickness: the flame’s speed, the falcon’s grace and the viper’s swiftness
Primal Wisdom: the raven’s guile, the fox’s cunning and the sky’s insight
Once per Moon, when you designate your Comrades-in-arms, you may infuse them (and yourself) with Primal Essence. This expends a basic Earth, Fire or Wind component per person that you imbue. You do not need a component to imbue yourself. Common tradition demands that the supplicant brings his or her own component to this ritual, which requires at least 10 minutes of ceremonial reverence or worship to the primal spirits and totems of Midworld. This may involve meditation, ritual combat, dancing, chanting or any of these (or more).
When this is completed, those who sacrificed a component to the spirits are granted your choice of one of the benefits outlined below until the end of the current Moon.
- Primal Fortitude: 2 ranks of Toughness and the Totemic Guardian skill (rank 1) or the Armor Expertise skill (Warmaster’s choice).
- Primal Quickness: the Dodge feat. When this is used, you may immediately use it for second time, costing 0 SP. Invoke this feat as “Primal Dodge”. This special dodge cannot be used more than once per minute.
- Primal Wisdom: 2 ranks of Apotheosis. Furthermore, spellcasters may Channel for 5 additional seconds to add +5 to the damage or to the healing of their spells. This additional channeling time cannot be waived or reduced.
Shamanic Conduit: You gain the Spirit-sight skill and the Spirit-medium skill of the Witch class, except that the latter works with Comrades, instead of Favored.
Furthermore, when you do this to a Comrade, you gain a connection to their spirit, which makes it difficult for them to deceive you. For them, resisting the Gather Information or the Sense Deception feat from you requires an additional 2 SP (which stacks with Pierce the Veil).
Instead of the “Warmaster’s Command” feature, Shamanic Warmasters are able to invoke elemental power within their Comrades. The nature of this power depends on the Primal Essence that the Warmaster has attuned to.
Once per Moon, you may expend a use of the Warmaster’s Gambit to invoke one of the effects below based on the Primal Essence they selected. You grant the effects to yourself and your Comrades within “whirlwind reach”. Inform your Comrades in advance of the effects of this feature.
“Shamanic Fortitude!” They gain 30 AP (similar to Rallying Warcry) and their next weapon or spell attack within 60 seconds hits for 20 damage (instead of their normal damage).
“Shamanic Quickness!” They may invoke “minimal” damage from most sources for 10 seconds and their next 3 weapon or spell attacks hit for 20 damage, instead of their normal damage. These must be used while benefiting from the minimal damage.
“Shamanic Wisdom!” Heal 30. And they may bestow a Heal 20 with their next touch within 60 seconds.
If you are wielding a Shamanic Totem, increase these effects and durations by 10, except for “30s” — these are instead increased to “50”.
The Iron Sage is an artist of the highest caliber and their medium is swordplay, communing with the soul of their weapon and the spirits of the world around them. Through mysticism and ritual, they perform feats of heroism beyond the ken of mundane warriors.
The Elves and the Kenrei claim ownership of this Path, although its teachings have trickled to certain other groups. Kenrei believe that the first Iron Sage was Jinru, who was given this knowledge by the Dragons of Kenrei myth. On the other hand, the Callasine and various Elven cultures believe that this Path was first wrought by an ancient Elven hero named Thalarien, who was sworn to the destruction of all things demonic and abandoned all other pursuits to create and wield this Path. Yet among the Elves, there is dissent since all of them claim Thalarien’s lineage to be from their own lines. The fact that Callas Selvarion and several other Elven groups have their own Iron Sages only serves to exacerbate this confusion.
No matter the claim of ownership, few can dispute the masterful expertise of the Iron Sage. To those that follow this Path, weaponplay is more than science and higher than art. Through discipline and study, they elevate themselves and their work to a higher understanding until they are able to call forth feats of prowess that astound onlookers and foemen. They can fly as if they had wings or they can bend their steel around shields, even coaxing their weapons to strike enemies and thieves from a distance. Many Iron Sages carry and attune themselves to multiple weapons, willing to show off their skill in all weaponry and switching weapons mid-battle. Others maintain their connection to one versatile weapon, finding purity of purpose in the purity of their method.
Aberrant Paths: Two Paths diverge from the Path of the Iron Sage. One is a user of elemental energies, called the Dragon Sage. These warriors use not only the steely discipline of the Iron Sage but also the mysticism of the adept. The other Path is far less renowned and far less esteemed: the Shadow Sage. It is believed that only criminals and deceivers employ the disciplines of this underhanded Path, which utilizes illusions and deception to accomplish its goals.
- 10th level Warrior class feature
- any Weapon Mastery skill
- Master Weaponsmith skill
- Expert Researcher skill.
- You must also have at least one Vorpal Weapon of your own creation. Furthermore, the combative features of this Path are only usable when wielding weapons that you have made and at least one of the weapons you are wielding must be the Vorpal Weapon that you attune yourself to. The non-combative features of this Path have no such demand.
Affiliations: As mentioned above, the Kenrei and the Elves are the primary claimants to the origin of this Path. Among the esteemed warriors of the Obsidian Kingdom, it is the artist-swordmasters of Shen Jinru who roster Iron Sages in their ranks. Those who can impress the Jinru with skill in calligraphy, courtliness and swordsmanship may be able to coax the secrets of this Path from them.
Among the Elves, it is Choir Athariel of Callas Selvarion and House Graellen of Pendrakken who host the members of this Path. The former is similar to the swordmasters of Jinru, with a shared focus on weaponry, the courtly arts and craftsmanship. On the other hand, the Iron Sages of House Graellen are eschew the pomp and finesse, emphasizing any and all weapon studies in their arduous curriculum.
Entrance: Entering the Path of the Iron Sage usually requires expertise in several areas of knowledge. Among the Kenrei and the Callasine, it is required that each initiate learn and master several artforms, historical lore and the courtly arts, in addition to weaponcraft. To these warriors, a balance of mind and body as well as a knowledge of many things is an absolute requirement to true understanding of war.
The Wildlings of House Graellen employ more down to earth methods in their education, requiring feats of bravery, evidence of weapon skill and torturous training to excise weakness from initiates and bring them into the truths evident within this Path.
Attunement/Cost: Every moon you must attune yourself to your Vorpal weapon, turning it into an extension of yourself called an Andurion by the Elves and Nemuranai by the Kenrei. This process requires 5 minutes of meditation and requires a latent effect slot with the Path’s name. If you have a Greater Attunement to your weapon, annotate the latent slot with (GR).
Phys-rep requirements: At least one Vorpal weapon that you have crafted yourself. As usual, it must bear the sigil of your craftsmanship and openly reflect you in some way.
Iron Sage: You gain the ability to study opponents and glean a vital point to strike, which functions similarly to the Armsman’s Student of Steel feature. You also gain a +2 bonus to Critical Strikes when using a Weapon whose type you have the Mastery skill for.
If you already have “Student of Steel” feature, then you instead gain a different benefit: you may use the bonus granted by the Student of Steel with any weapon that you have Mastery, as opposed to only with one specific weapon and in one specific style.
Furthermore, using a Discipline feat no longer Dazes you nor does it require the consumption of your Health. In fact, some Disciplines are augmented when you use them.
Discipline of the Lotus: The strikes of this attack are all “Piercing”
Discipline of the Maker: The damage of the secondary attack is increased to “50 damage” and is “Piercing”
Discipline of the Oak: For this feat’s attack, you may strike twice for “Piercing 30 damage” each time.
Discipline of the Reaper: You may instead strike twice for “Piercing, 30 Mortal-bane” instead of only once – if one or both of them miss, you get one backswing attack.
Iron Union (requires Analyze Item skill): After 5 minutes of meditation, you may attune yourself to a weapon that is currently attuned to no one. This takes up a latent effect slot.
While you are attuned to a weapon, it cannot be unattuned without your consent while you are alive or at least until a month has passed. If it is taken from you, you may recall it back to you after 10 minutes of meditation at a workshop. You may choose to have it inflict damage or activate one of its properties upon its wrongful holder before it returns to you, inform the Game Marshall retrieving it for you in advance. Domination and/or suggestion effects may allow someone to procure it from you, if you do not prepare defenses against these.
Furthermore, you may activate a Once per Hour, Once per Short Rest or Once per Period property of a weapon that you are wielding that inflicts damage to strike forth in a bolt of energy or a whirl of flying (and returning) steel. Instead of relying on a melee strike. Use a spell-packet to deliver the attack.
Speak to Steel (requires Master of Augments skill): Your communion with the spirits of steel and wood grants you greater mastery over the creation and augmentation of weaponry. You are considered to have an assistant of your skill level when you create or augment weaponry. This may have beneficial effects if Freehold has achieved Tier 1 of the Production Domain.
Furthermore, you may attune weapons or shields to yourself or other characters as though you were an alchemist.
Sage of the Four-fold Path: You gain an additional bonus depending on how you wield that weapon provided that you have the appropriate Expertise skill.
Einhander Style: Sometimes called the Cloud or Crane style, this difficult technique grants you tremendous flexibility and mobility. You may augment the Dodge feats that you use in this style, prefacing them with “Leaping”. After you do this, you may “Fly” for 3 seconds in a straight line, following all the rules and limitations for doing so.
Furthermore, if you have the Einhander Mastery skill, you may rend the very air with the strength of your strike. After channeling for5 seconds, you may say “Strike the Wind” and throw a spell-packet at an enemy. In mid-throw, say “Piercing! X damage!” where X is equal to the damage of your normal attack.
Great Weapon Style: Wielding a weapon in two hands allows you to put the entirety of your strength to an attack. Iron Sages in this stance call it the River or the Bull style. You can attempt to forgo the SP cost of the Pierce Shield feat by softening the defenses of your enemy first. To do this, strike your enemy’s shield twice with your weapon, saying “Piercing 1″, “Piercing 2″ at the first and second strike respectively . After that, you gain one free (0 SP) use of the Pierce Shield attack. If you take any damage or Control effect while attempting to Pierce your enemy’s shield, you must start again at “Piercing 1″. This can only be used on Shields, not weapons.
If you have the Great Weapon Mastery skill, then you may substitute the Pierce Shield feat for the Knockback feat, allowing you to maintain a distance from your aggressor or to push them back.
Dual-Weapon Style: Wielding two weapons allows for versatility in defense and offense. Among Iron Sages, this style is named for the ferocity of Tiger or nigh-omnipresence of the Sun. While in this stance, damage you inflict with both weapons is equal to the greater of the two when you are using normal melee attacks or using Critical Strikes.
Furthermore, if you have the Dual Weapon Mastery skill, you may receive 2 expert Critical Strikes (one with each weapon) when you Study a target and are wielding two weapons, instead of only one “expert” use of the feat.
Weapon and Shield Style: Often called the Crab or the Tower style, using a Shield creates a powerful defense that is only amplified by the methods of this Path. Fortifying yourself grants you an additional 10 AP.
Steel never Sleeps (requires Comrade-in-arms skill): You gain the Watchful Interceptor feature of the Champion. If you already have the Watchful Interceptor feature, you may now intercept attacks upon anyone near you (instead of merely your Comrades).
Furthermore, while in the Einhander or Great Weapon style, you may deliver an Intercept Parry via a spell-packet, representing a skillful throw of your weapon designed to deflect an attack and return to your hand. You must hit the person you are trying to protect within 5 seconds of the attack upon them.
Iron Heart (requires the Bloodied but Unbowed skill): When you are attacked by a Fear or a Knockback effect, you may say “Iron Heart, no effect” to negate either effect. To use Iron Heart again, you must re-center yourself by Channeling for 30 seconds.
Tide of Iron: When you spend SP to perform a Critical Strike or a Challenging Strike on one target, you may “Flourish” against them, gaining +2 bonus to your base damage. To do this, simply preface your damage with the word “Flourish”, thereby slowing your swings. While augmented and “flourishing”, your damage may not be further increased. You lose this bonus when you perform a Critical Strike on a different target, gaining it against them instead.
If you expend a Rare Holy Component to attune yourself to your weapon, you are considered to have a Greater Attunement to your Andurion/Nemuranai and the bonus is increased to +4 when you flourish.
Shroud of Discipline: You may Shroud your Soul with a warrior’s discipline, allowing you to negate attempts to see into your soul. You may respond with “Shrouded”, when someone uses the Aura-sight skill upon you — preventing them from gleaning knowledge about you.
If you have a Greater Attunement to your Andurion/Nemuranai, you are also considered to have the Poker Face skill and may use it.
Masterful Stance (requires the Athletics skill): When using a Weapon that you have Mastered in a Style (e.g. Shield, Dual Weapon, Great Weapon or Einhander) that you have also Mastered, you may augment the Dodge feat so that it costs only 1 SP, prefacing it with the word “Athletic”. As usual, a feat may only be augmented by one effect at a time.
Perceive Weaknesses (requires Blind-fighting skill): You gain the Aura-sight and Spirit-sight skill.
Furthermore, if you have a Greater Attunement to your Vorpal Weapon, a successful use of the Aura-sight skill grants an expert Critical Strike until 10 minutes have passed or you Aura-sight a different character, as per the Iron Sage feature if you spend 10 seconds instead of 5 seconds to use it. This Critical Strike may only be used on the target of your Aura-sight.
Perfect Strike: Once per Period, you may study an opponent with the Student of Steel feature or the Iron Sage feature. If you are uninterrupted and successful, you may perform the “Perfect Strike”. Similar to the Master Assassinate feature of the Assassin, this cannot be negated by any Feat, Skill or Spell. To do this, simply say “Perfect Strike” and hit the target with a melee attack with inflicts your Critical Strike damage, prefacing the damage invocation with the word “Master”. If you bring your enemy to 0 HP or lower, you may touch them with your weapon and say “Instant Killing Blow” to immediately bring them into their Critical Death Count – doing so also allows you regain up to 3 SP..
Also, increase the bonus to Critical Strikes granted by Tier 1 to +5.
Having a Greater Attunement to your Andurion/Nemuranai increases your damage with your damage with it by 1. This effect does not stack with the Maker’s Mark and Maker’s Maul skills.
Aberrant Path: Dragon Sage
The Dragon Sage is a warrior attuned to the energies of the world, called thusly because their own Dragon-like affinity to the elements of fire, wind, water and earth. Unlike their Iron Sage cousins, those who follow the Path of the Dragon Sage seek not mere unity with Steel and Iron but with the elemental realms. Their knowledge of weaponry and weaponplay is augmented by an deep understanding of primal energies and their role in the world. The result is a warrior that invokes the very elements with martial skill and discipline, albeit at the cost of the specialization that the Iron Sage would typically hone.
For their part, the warriors of this Part prize their own greater versatility and knowledge — and when one can lash out with elemental flame, bend one’s own weapons like a river or strike with the fury of a dragon, who can gainsay their strength?
- Master Transmuter or Master Elementalist skill
- Aura-sight skill
Affiliations: The primary adherents of this Path are the Kenrei warriors of Shen Terasu, who claim their eponymous predecessor as its founder. Their close ties to the Wu Jen and their own attention to the Way of the Sword make their warriors a perfect match for this Path. The duels between the Iron Sages of Shen Jinru and the Dragon Sages of Shen Terasu are beautiful and terrifying to behold, as their differences in philosophy and history inevitably lead them to conflict.
There are a few Dragon Sages that exist outside of Kenrei. The most prominent of these is called Teacher Thunderous from Ixia, a Troll warrior and a member of the Circle of Teachers. A warrior of skill, ferocity and wisdom — Teacher Thunderous claims that his techniques have been passed down to him from Tulken himself.
Several Dragon Sages are known to be within the Longhorn Clan of the Grellken, although how they came about their skills is as much a rumor as their presence.
Phys-rep Requirements: To help attune themselves to the elements, the initiation of the Dragon Sage involves the inking of draconic or serpentine tattoos upon his or her body and/or face.
Dragon Sage: Instead of the augmentation to weapon styles granted at Tier 3 of the Iron Sage Path, Dragon Sages instead have an elemental attunement to all four Dragons. This allows them access to the features below regardless of what weapon style they are using, so long as they use their Nemuranai/Andurion.
Lash of the Flame — After channeling for 5 seconds while wielding a bonded weapon, you may say “Flame Lash” and throw a spell-packet. It inflicts damage equal to your Critical Strike except as fire-type damage.
Flesh unto the Stone — You may bolster your own flesh and blood against attack, granting yourself stone-like skin. While holding a stance with a weapon that you have Mastered, you may fortify yourself similar to the effects of the Shield Mastery skill. You adhere to all the limitations of that skill’s use except for the need for a shield and the speed limitation. Take note that AP never stacks with any other AP, unless otherwise noted.
If you are not wearing armor and not carrying a shield, this increases the amount of AP you would gain from this feature by 10.
Strike as the Water — You can attempt to forgo the SP cost of the Pierce Shield feat by softening the defenses of your enemy first. To do this, strike your enemy’s shield twice with your weapon, saying “Piercing 1″, “Piercing 2″ and at the first and second third strike respectively. After that, you gain one free (0 SP) use of the Pierce Shield attack except the damage has to be of the Ice-type. If you take any damage or Control effect while attempting to Pierce your enemy’s shield, you must start again at “Piercing 1″. This can only be used against Shields, not weapons.
Step upon the Wind — You may augment the Dodge feats that you use while wielding a bonded weapon, prefacing them with “Leaping”. After you do this, you may “Fly” for 3 seconds in a straight line, following all the rules and limitations for doing so.
Blessing of the Four Dragons: Once a month, when you determine your Comrades-in-arms, you may grant upon them a +2 bonus to their Critical Strikes and Totem Strikes while they are wielding weapons that you have made or augmented. This bonus does not stack with the bonuses from Student of Steel or from the Iron Sage feature. This takes up a latent effect slot unless your Comrade-in-arms skill is already occupying one of theirs.
Furthermore, you may choose to grant them (and/or yourself) a Dragon Blessing, allowing their normal melee attacks to strike for Fire, Ice or Lightning type damage (choose one). Once granted, the Blessing of the Four Dragons only lasts while they are your Comrade-in-arms.
Instead of gaining the Iron Supremacy feature, you instead gain the ability to invoke the deadly energies of the world through your Nemuranai once per Period. To do this, say “Wrath of the Four Dragons” and then follow it with the following four attacks (in any order and with no targeting restrictions).
- Piercing 20 Fire
- Piercing 20 Ice
- Piercing 20 Lightning
- Piercing 20 Damage
If you have a Greater Attunement to your Nemuranai or Andurion, your damage with it is increased by one point and you may choose to change its damage to Fire, Ice or Lightning at any time. This increase to damage does not stack with the bonus to damage granted by the Maker’s Mark and the Maker’s Maul skills.
Aberrant Path: Shadow Sage
Veiled in rumor, the Shadow Sage is the dark sibling of the Iron Sage, wielding trickery as easily as weapon and shield. Some believe that this Path is an aberration of the Dragon Sage, attuning to the powers of Night and Shadow. Others posit that it is a corruption of the truths and disciplines of the Iron Sage — made fell by otherworldly entities.
Regardless of its origin, the Shadow Sage is more than mere rumor and myth. Adherents to this Path excel in deceit and treachery, redirecting attacks and queries unto allies. The greatest Shadow Sages are as deadly as Master Assassins, striking with deadly force and stealing their victim’s vitality.
- Master Camouflage skill
Affiliation: The Twilight Elves and Gorgons of Ixia’s Choir Caellinrah are rumored to possess the lores of this Path. These warriors said to be the “defenders” of their Choir, yet are often abroad rather than within their familial sanctums.
Similarly, Choir Saerach of Callas Selvarion is believed to have several Shadow Sages in their employ — trained in the ways of the first Saerach, weaving intrigue and shadow in the defense of their kin.
Beyond the Elves of Midworld, the Kage-ryuu and the Kingslayer Crew are reported to have Shadow Sages among their ranks, unsurprising given the Path’s affinity toward deceit and subterfuge.
Additional Phys-reps: A Umbral Rune upon the brow. This may be hidden, but it must be re-applied at the beginning of every Period (see Shadowsoul).
The fighting style of the Shadow Sage utilizes superior weapon skill but also theatricality and deception. In addition to the bonuses granted by the Iron Sage feature (Tier 1), you also gain the Redirect Feat.
Furthermore, when you re-direct an attack unto one of your Comrade-in-arms (who must be conscious and standing), you may augment it so that it costs 0 SP instead of 2 SP, although you must preface it with the word “Shadow”. You may use this feature no more frequently than once every minute.
Shadow Facade: When someone asks you several yes or no questions via the Gather Information feat, Read the Soul ability or a similar effect, you may invoke “Shadow Façade” and choose to lie about one of the answers. Regardless of whether you lied or not, you may tell the questioner that you have the ability to lie about one of the answers – they are unable to tell which one it was that you chose to lie about (or if you even lied at all).
Furthermore, you may respond with “Shrouded” when the Aura-sight skill is used upon you.
You have mastered the art of striking at weaknesses and Instead of gaining the “Iron Supremacy” feature, you instead may use “Master Assassinate” once per Period (similar to the 10th level Assassin feature), prefacing the attack by studying your opponent for 60 seconds. You are considered to have the Dirty Fighting skill (rank 3) for this attack and it augmented by any skill or item that would improve the damage of the Assassinate feat (such as Know thy Enemy and certain weapons).
If you have a Greater Attunement to your Andurion or Nemuranai, you may follow up this attack with a “Heal 30” in lieu of performing an Instant Killing Blow, stealing and absorbing a part of your victim’s essence.
The Oathsworn Protector focuses on their Code above all. With an indomitable will, they defend their allies and draw attacks to themselves, willing to sacrifice their own lives for their comrades.
While other Warriors hone their skills or their physical form, the Oathsworn Protector girds their soul with moral rectitude and unwavering righteousness. Above all, they focus upon their Code, much as Champions do but on a level beyond the ken of mundane Warriors. To the Oathsworn, the Code is a life above life itself, giving them strength and skill unparalleled. Even Death itself can be held at bay by this walkers of this Mythic Path, so long as there are allies that need salvation and enemies that require termination.
The spiritual and philosophical commitment required by this Path is such that few are willing to tread it. The demands it calls upon are such that trainers are hard to come by not because they are unwilling but because they are extremely rare — the death of an Oathsworn Protector is the cause of lament but it is a common end for these Warriors.
Abberant Paths: Two Paths have diverged from the ancient traditions of the Oathsworn Protector. The first of these is the Oathsworn Avenger, wrought of vengeance and valor by Luther von Pendrakken in the olden days. The second is the Oathsworn Templar, a warrior who has embraced piety and holiness to become a temple of sacred grace and sanctified protection for the Chosen of their faith.
- A 10th level Warrior feature
- Bardic Mastery skill
- Bloody but Unbowed skill
- A Code with at least 3 Vows, chosen from or altered from the list below with Staff approval. Willful violation of this Code results in instantaneous loss of all Path features until the Oathsworn Protector is given absolution by a High Priest of their Faith or the leader of their Organization. If the violation is meditated and of a heinous enough stature, all Path features may be rescinded from the Warrior utterly and permanently with no build refunded.
Vow of Mercy: You may not injure non-combatants (children, surrendered, elderly) and do your best to dissuade others from doing so.
Vow of Chivalry: You may not strike from behind or attack a disarmed foe.
Vow of Valor: Never flee a battle while allies are in danger, esteem the life of allies before your own.
Vow of Piety: Respect and utterly follow Priests and Tenets of your religion, tithing to the main Church every Moon in currency, components or in menial labor.
Vow of Charity: Never kill a Mortal sapient creature and dissuade others from doing so. Also, always assist those who need assistance and are worthy of assistance.
Vow of Honesty: Never speak a lie and never disguise yourself as anything but who you are.
Vow of Courtesy: Act and speak with courtesy and honor to everyone, even those who do not deserve it.
Vow of Purity: Never willingly touch a dead body, practice or benefit from Sorcery or consort peaceably with Demons and other Foul Entities.
Vow of Balance: Display calmness and neutrality. Never cry out in wrath nor passion.
Affiliations: Oathsworn Protectors can be found with exemplars of virtue and paragons of righteousness. Ixia’s Shadow beneath the Crown is one such organization that esteems people of goodly character in their ranks.
The Wu Jen of Kenrei and the Longhorn Clan of the Grellken are said to harbor some Protectors amongst their roster. Sages have noted the oddity that Oathsworn Protectors from these Power Groups appear to hold similar traditions as the Protectors from Ixia.
Krieger Pendrakken was once known for its Oathsworn Protectors, but they have changed the traditions of this Path to their own vengeful manner. It is believed that they learned its tenets and traditions from Krieger Dammerlicht, who continues to hold true to the original code.
Entrance: Of those who seek this Path, only those with virtuous hearts and enduring spirits can are chosen. And even from these noble souls, the weaker and the ignoble are culled. Indeed, even those who walk upon the Path risk losing its powers and beginning anew should they falter.
With this in mind, trainers of this Path often have their students seek out ancient relics or powerful evils
Attunement/Cost: Every moon, you must pray to your Faith for at least 10 minutes. This is independent of any tithing that you must do for the Vow of Piety, if you swore it. In all cases, this occupies a latent effect slot that must be labeled with the Path’s name.
Phys-rep requirements: Your Vows, emblazoned upon your shield or hanging in Ark-tongue or Rune-speak dialects from your armor or wrapped around you as a belt or sash.
Oathsworn: Once per Moon, while in the heat of battle, you may invoke an Oath to bolster your willpower and your strength. At this level, you may swear one of the two oaths outlined below. Once invoked, the benefit of these Oaths last until you are brought to 0 HP or until all immediate threats are neutralized from the battlefield.
“I swear an Oath of Vengeance against you and all who attack my allies”
— You may perform “Avenging Critical Strikes” much like a level 10 Champion can, retaliating when you defend your Comrades or when they fall. Furthermore, you may inflict two Avenging Critical Strikes against a foe that fells one of your allies instead of merely one.
“I swear an Oath of Protection upon my comrades and my allies”
— You gain the ability to augment your Parry and Block feats with a Whirlwind effect, costing a total of 3 SP for each use. Lastly, you may use the Intervene feat upon anyone (not merely your Comrades) for 0 SP.
Furthermore, your faith in your Code is resolute. When you are hit by a Dominate or a Fear effect, you may instead choose to take a “Stun 10” effect instead of succumbing to what would crumble lesser souls. This cannot be used upon Master-level effects nor may it be reduced in any way.
Watchful Protector: You may perform the Intercept Parry and Intercept Block feats as though you had gained the Watchful Interceptor feature of the Champion. Furthermore, you may augment your Parry and Block feats to “Intercept” attacks upon anyone, not just Comrades-in-arms.
Steadfast Oath (requires the Stirring Warcry feat): When you appoint your allies as your Comrades-in-arms, you instill within them a steadfast spirit. For the remainder of the Moon, you and your Comrades may say “Steadfast Soul” to negate a Charm or a Mortal effect for 1 SP. They lose the ability to do this if they personally break your Code or if you retract your favor from them.
Furthermore, while you are under the effects of your Oaths, you may negate a Fear effect or a Taunt effect upon you by standing still and reciting your Code. This may be disrupted or interrupted just like a spell’s incantation. Whether you complete this or are interrupted, you may not perform this action again until after you have performed a “Fortified” count.
Supreme Defender: You gain an enhanced ability to defend your allies that seem incredible or even magical to casual onlookers. This ability is based on the weapon style that you are currently using, provided you have the appropriate Mastery skill for that style:
Einhander or Great Weapon style: You may deliver an Intercept Parry via a spell-packet, reflecting a timely toss of your weapon that defends your ally and returns to your hand.
Weapon and Shield or Dual Weapon Style: When you perform an Intercept Parry or an Intercept Block, you may perform an “Expert” (0 SP) Block or Parry to defend yourself immediately afterwards. Take note that the Parry feat cannot defend against ranged weapon attacks without being augmented.
Deadly Challenge: When you use the Mocking Words or Challenging Strike feat, you may perform Flourish attacks upon your target — this is similar to the Swashbuckler’s “Deadly Flourish” except that the damage of these attacks is equal to your normal melee damage plus any permanent bonuses that you have to your Critical Strikes (e.g. Student of Steel feature, Know thy Enemy skill, etc). If you choose to benefit from this, the damage of these flourish attacks may not be augmented further with any effect.
Call forth the Steadfast Soul (requires Song of the Heart skill) When you use the Song of the Heart skill, using its greater functions no longer count against the Once per Hour limit of Compositions.
Furthermore, you may replace the song with an inspirational speech that lasts for the requisite amount of time.
The Oath is Life: The Code is not merely something that you speak, it flows through you as life itself. Thus, you are now able to call upon its power more often. You may now invoke an Oath once per Period instead of once per Moon.
Furthermore, when you swear an Oath, you regain 3 SP as your resolve wipes away fatigue and despair.
The Code Strengthens: After Channeling for 5 seconds, you may say “The Code Strengthens” to dispel a Pain or Mortal effect from one of your Comrade-in-arms that you touch with your hand or your weapon.
The Code Sustains (requires the Grace of Tranquility skill (rank 1)): You are possessed of a boundless endurance that persists so long as you remain true to your Code. After channeling for 10 seconds, you may regain up to 0 HP. This healing is improved by the Grace of Tranquility skill as though it were a spell.
The Code Perceives (requires the Sense Deception feat): When you use the Sense Deception feat, your target must spend an additional 2 SP to defend against it. If used against one of your Comrades-in-arms, they must instead spend an additional 5 SP to defend against it.
Final Stand: Many warriors claim that they understand the inevitability of death but few truly perceive the doom that comes for them and accept its approach. For the greatest of the Oathsworn, they can call upon their spiritual reserves to snatch victory or even the survival of their comrades from the jaws of defeat.
Firstly, you may now invoke an Oath while in your first Death Count, healing 10 HP in the process, followed by the Oath’s effect.
Furthermore, you may rise up from your Critical Death count and say “Final Stand” once per Moon. You regain up to 100 HP and 10 SP.
Until all threats have been defeated or all enemies have been routed, you may Channel for 10 seconds to regain up to 20 HP. This may be done even if you are in your first Death Count. Furthermore, your Flourish melee strikes hit for 10 points of damage, although this may not be augmented or increased further in any way.
Lastly, when the battle is over and no other enemies remain or when all of your allies are truly safe, you immediately collapse dead and your death may not be ameliorated by a Pure Component or in any other way. On occasion, a Protector will instead linger for a minute or two before dying — even in that state, however, their death cannot be stayed.
Aberrant Path: Oathsworn Avenger
Rumored to be of dwarven origin (for only dwarves can be so stubborn and vengeful), the Path of the Oathsworn Avenger is a call to justice and the righting of wrongs. Having forsworn some of their ability to protect their allies, the Warriors of this Path are keenly focused on revenging themselves upon those who strike at them and theirs.
Unlike the Oathsworn Protector, the Oathsworn Avenger has a tendency against offices and positions of authority. They are often on the road, in pursuit of some wrongdoer or for innocents that require their services. Those who do occupy positions of authority and serve beneath Power Groups are magistrates that strike out at those that do harm to their cause and their people.
- Any Weapon Mastery skill
- You may not take the Vow of Balance, the Vow of Charity or the Vow of Mercy.
- Furthermore, one of your Vows is the Vow of Vengeance: you must always exact vengeance or compensation from those who injure you or your Comrades. Furthermore, this vengeance or compensation must be similar in value or nature to that which injured you or yours (i.e. blood for blood, a death for a death, etc). Obviously, you need not extract vengeance or compensation from a foe that has been slain although there is a grey area with foes that have been detained by authorities (and are therefore already paying their ‘debt’).
Affiliation: This Path has its roots in the ancient, vengeful Dwarves of the Bladebreaker Clan. The Dwarves of this Clan lost their stronghold to the Humans of the Wyrdic Empire but revenged themselves utterly against Imperial Legions until even the Empire was willing to agree to an armistice. Even the expansionist Wyrd could see righteousness and tenacity among the Bladebreakers, virtues that the Dwarves of this Clan hold to the current day.
It is believed that Luther von Pendrakken learned the Path of the Oathsworn Avenger during his travels to Bladebreaker Hold — finding that it matched his thirst for vengeance. Some of his daughters and sons have taken after him since although Oathsworn Avengers are hard to find, even among House Pendrakken after the Vagnarian rebellion. Those few stand with the Kingdom serve as magistrates with House Macha or as knights directly under the King’s command.
Oathsworn Desolation: You gain the Tier 1 features of the Oathsworn Protector, except for the ability to swear an Oath of Protection. Instead you may swear an Oath of Vengeance or an Oath of Desolation. The latter is described below:
“I swear an Oath of Desolation upon you”
— Similar to an Armsman, you may study a target for 15 seconds to perform an Expert Critical Strike or an Expert Challenging Strike upon them. Furthermore, when you successfully perform one of the feats above, you may say “Heal 10” to regain up to 10 HP.
When your target is destroyed, you may Channel for 10 seconds and change the target of your Oath to a different creature, swearing the Oath anew. You are prevented from doing this if you are brought down to 0 HP at any point after swearing the initial Oath of Desolation.
Inescapable Justice (requires Lead the Hunt skill): When you use the Pursue Quarry feat, you may invoke it as “Master Pursue Quarry”. This expends 5 SP from you but defeats Escape effects that would otherwise negate pursuits, this has no effect on Fading or Vanishing effects as those remove their users from Midworld entirely.
Furthermore, you gain an “Avenging” (0 SP) Critical Strike or Cripple Limb for use when you re-enter the game.
Heart of Vengeance: Instead of getting “Supreme Defender”, you hone the vengeful spirit within you to a vicious keenness. Those who strike at your allies must go through you and suffer your wrath.
When you use Intervene to defend any ally or Comrade, you may augment it so that you deliver a retributive melee strike that inflicts a “Piercing Knockback 5” or piercing damage equal to your normal melee damage (neither of which may be augmented in any way). This attack may only be used in retribution against that creature which injured you.
Furthermore, when you are revived from 0 HP, you gain an “Avenging Crit” that you may use upon that which laid you low or one of its allies. If this Critical Strike hits, your vengeance sustains you and you may say “Heal 10” to regain up to 10 HP.
Aberrant Path: Oathsworn Templar
Granted the ability to heal physical injuries and spiritual corruption, the Oathsworn Templar is a promise of redemption in the face of the evils of the world and beyond it. These Templars are agents of their Churches, given sanction and respect similar to a Priest. However, they are not only healers and guardians but also warriors and destroyers. Armed with unwavering dedication to their faith, they are sent by Church and Hierophant into the darkest places in the world to bring light to their Chosen and devastation to the unholy.
Despite being an “abberant Path”, many scholars believe this Path to be the origin of the other branches. They have traced the lineage of this sacred Path to two greater faiths — the Seven Gods of Wyrd and the Celestial Church of the Elves. Thus, these Templars are often trained and rostered by the descendant faiths of those religions.
- Lorekeeper skill
- Master of Medicine skill
- Must be a Chosen of the Faith you are receiving training from and be Ordained by that Faith.
- Must take the Vow of Piety, which counts toward the number of Vows one must take.
Affiliations: The Oathsworn Templar can be traced back to the Seven Gods of the Wyrdic Religion and the Celestial Church of the Elves. Strangely, only faiths that esteem light and law appear to field the Warriors of this Path.
Sages have reported that the Church of the Seven United and the warrior faiths of the Gotterdammerung have a few Oathsworn Templars in their numbers, most likely because the two Pantheons are related. Similarly, the Athalarian portion of the Celestial Church of Callas Selvarion have a few Templars in their order.
None however can explain why ascetic disciples from Ixia’s Nine Virtues religion have been seen wielding the powers of this Path.
Additional Phys-rep Requirements: Some Templars carry a Holy Tome or a Holy Disc. The former is a heavy book with the symbol of your Faith on the cover. Inside are prayers, chants and mythologies of your faith. The latter is a hand-held disc at least 3 inches in diameter with the symbol of your faith.
Furthermore, as a Chosen of a faith, you are required to prominently display the symbol of your religion.
Guardian of the Faithful: You are the shepherd of the Chosen, the keeper of the pious. Instead of receiving the Supreme Defender feature, you instead receive a greater capacity to defend and avenge your allies. In addition, you may use the Intervene feat upon any of these pious individuals for 0 SP. The use of this feat is augmented and must be prefaced with “Faithful”.
Lastly, you are seized by righteous wrath when one of your Chosen has been brought 0 HP. You gain a 0 SP use of the Critical Strike feat, which is augmented and must be prefaced with “Avenging”. You do not get this benefit if you already have 0 SP Critical Strikes or other Feats that you are waiting to use.
Lay on hands (Requires Elemental Therapy skill): When you use the Elemental Therapy skill, you may substitute the necessary components with Holy-type components and any necessary phys-reps with a Holy Tome or a Holy Disc. While curing a patient, you must intone prayers and invoke the powers of your religion to cure them of their ailment.
Furthermore, in addition of the ailments that Elemental Therapy may cure, this feature may also be used to create the effects of the Symbol of Exorcism spell and the Symbol of Renewal spell.
You gain the features outlined in Tier 5 of the Oathsworn Protector. Furthermore, you also gain the ability to swear an Oath of Salvation, described below.
“I swear an Oath of Salvation upon those who stand with me”
— After swearing this Oath, you may invoke a “Whirlwind Heal 30”, curing the injuries of nearby creatures. Furthermore, you temporarily gain the ability to augment your Rallying Warcry, invoking “Renewing Warcry” instead. Doing so costs 1 SP, inflicts a Daze upon you for 30 seconds and restores X HP instead of granting Armor Points (where X is the amount of AP you would grant). Furthermore, it affects any five creatures that you touch with your weapon without moving from your location, instead of being limited only to aiding your Comrades-in-arms. Finally, you temporarily gain the ability to cast the Symbol of Renewal Spell as though you were a Priest of your Faith.